It’s not permissible to kill a coworker…

Really, I think it would lead to improved performance. Think about it: underperform? You die.

Brings evolution back to the forefront! Capitalism at the fullest! Gives new meaning to a reduction in headcount…

What brings this on, you might ask?

I’m working with someone on another team, while working myself for another team. All well and good; most interactions have been cordial, and mostly competent.

Until… this week.

First, he tried to correct my knowledge of COM. I don’t claim to know COM — my name is not Don Box, or Chris Sells, or any of the other Wise Men of COM. However, I know more COM than he does. I narrowly avoided responding with “RTFM!”

Then, he started pointing fingers at me regarding another issue that had arisen due to shoddy work practices on his part, coupled with a shoddy design he had saddled the entire division with (only a few people have to actually work with it, Thank God). He claimed that he had no knowledge that my work had been completed. To this I had two perfectly valid replies — the email thread where we discussed the work two months ago, and the simple fact that a SEARCH through the source code would have turned up the work in a moment. I avoided both of these replies. I spoke to my manager to be sure he knew what was going on, as well as trying to determine the next step. In the end, I simply let matters lie.

Fast forward only a few hours, to me reviewing a piece of code he had written, that would, at best, only partially fix the issue at fault. I responded that he had completely misused a function I had written, and his solution would fail to function properly. In addition, it did nothing to repair the damage his breaking change had made to my work. I pushed back.

He responded by assigning the bug to me: a Now bug — for non-coworkers, “Now” means “drop everything and work on this.” I’ve had Now bugs before, no big deal. Two problems: 1) His comments in the bug said that the functionality was “Well-documented.” 2) This “Now” bug is, in effect, a Work Item (“change in architecture or design or missing implementation” is an adequate definition) of at least a day or two’s work, possibly more.

1) A single line comment does not documentation make.

2) A breaking change introduced by his checkin should be his to fix. Especially when he could have left the existing functionality in side-by-side!

Unfortunately, homicide is not permitted. Slapping around isn’t either. I’ll be damned if I do his work for him.

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